Searching for the Visible
We heard later that people were saying we are “members of a sect.” And folks tried to make it plain to us why they thought we are sect members. They said that we are a sect because we tried to drag someone in. And it’s plain to them that we are a sect because the person thinks we tried to “drag him into a sect.” I said, “What for?!” (laughter) “We never asked you for any money. You dropped by our house. You ate my food with pleasure. We never asked you for any money! We gave you a book. I gave you a nice CD. Everything I gave to you. We didn’t ‘drag you in.’ What is this that you are talking about?!”
In Acts 28, the last chapter of Acts, the followers of Christ were judged as “sect members.” They were called a “sect.” They were called “the Nazarene Sect.” A true Believer will have to be called that.
“Sect.” Because it doesn’t “fit” with religious programs—the men in the white robes. There’s a cost, you know? It costs us.
So we told this person, “If that’s really what you think—that we’re in a sect, something evil and wicked—if you really have a question, then why didn’t you warn us? Why didn’t you tell us, ‘Look, I love you. I’m concerned about you. I really feel that you should take note of this. This is really not scriptural.’ And that’s how you would demonstrate your love towards me, if that’s really true.”
Yeah, “If we are part of a sect, and we’re in danger—show me the path! Show me the right track!”
“And show where this track is wrong!” Like Martin Luther said, “Show me in the Scriptures, and then I’ll recant. If you can’t show me in the Scriptures where what you’re doing is Biblical and how what I’m doing is not, then I can’t recant. You must show me in the Scriptures why this is wrong and why what you’re doing is IN the Bible.” Which it isn’t!
Yeah, exactly. “But don’t just go and crawl into your little corner and leave me alone if you really claim to love me.”
So in any case, when I showed him the scriptures he said, “I realize that you want the right thing, but you must also realize that among us it’s more of a club than a Church.”
He said that?!
He said it to some brothers, that it’s more like a club.
He admitted it’s not a Church.
At least he admitted it. We tell people that all the time, but we’ve seldom had a pastor admit it in advance.
This is what we said to him as well, “This really is a club. This Sunday it’s a hiking club. The next Sunday’s a fishing trip. Another Sunday is something else—it’s a club. Busy with crafts. Busy with activities, picnics or whatever, in the name of Christ.”
He admitted that…Wow.
So when he came out with that word club, I said, “So maybe try to escape since it’s a club. Don’t judge us, it’s not the holy Church, it’s just a club.”
Then I guess he can be the head of the club.
So I was happy to hear that.
Clubs can have titles and clubs can have all sorts of things. Churches can’t.
So he said, “I understand what you want. You want a visible Church, but you know, it doesn’t exist—a visible Church,” and he said all this stuff about an “invisible church.”
That is so bogus. You know, Watchman Nee did that to people. Watchman Nee contributed to that theory of the “invisible church.” It’s wrong! That is NOT what the Bible teaches.
For sure. After what we know now, that’s for sure.